23/10/2009 | by Tom Copsey
Tania Detomas is a solid Italian rider from the Dolomites who’s just as at home schralping rails as she is hitting booters and kicking it in the pipe. She’s a conscientious and deep-thinking lady too, and those are the reasons she was our victim for 13 For Luck in issue 104.
1. Your dad was one of the first snowboarders in your area and taught you to ride. Do you still get to go out with him and ride his secret stashes? How important is being able to ride with your dad to you?
My father was one of the first snowboarders in the area, but my mother and my brother are snowboarders as well. It doesn’t happen often that I get to ride with them now, especially with my mum. It’s been years since I’ve taken a run with her. When I was little it was very important for me to learn from my dad. He was a trainer for me and I still love to ride with him, although that also happens rarely.
2. How is the Italian scene doing? Any kids from your area that will be blowing up soon?
I think that the Italian snowboard scene seems to be growing up a bit slowly. But each year there are more and more riders. Let’s hope some of these will emerge in the future. In my area I see a lot of kids snowboarding but they never really want to get too involved with the sport, like go to contests or see other resorts.
3. Who influenced you when you were growing up snowboarding?
The first was my father, and when I was a young rider I was very much influenced by Gigi Rüf. I saw him as an idol. But now the people who influence me the most are the friends with whom I ride with and learn from: Francesco Colturi and his uncle Filippo Crudeli, and strangely enough we are all Quiksilver riders.
4. Apparently you started off riding boardercross. What made you switch to freestyle snowboarding?
I have always liked freestyle snowboarding better but in my family the racing aspect of snowboarding was important. My dad would do slalom races and my brother would compete in boardercross. Then I came along and started with the freestyle. I also did some races in slalom and boardercross and I had a lot of fun.
I’ve always seen freestyle snowboarding as a more artistic expression of riding. When I first used a snowboard I would use it as a sled and make little jumps and try all sorts of things.
5. The Roxy team all seem like a tight-knit group of girls who get on together really well. What do you like most about being part of that crew?
With Roxy I think I am a peculiar case because I never had girls as friends – I grew up hanging out with only boys – and when I got on the team I spoke very little English. But now each year my English is getting better and this changes things a lot with my rapport with the Roxy team. Obviously communication is very important, especially in a group of girls. Even though I don’t take part very much in this tight-knit group, I still care for them a lot and I see them as good friends. There is the tendency, like in all groups with different cultures, to stick with the people from your own country. Me being the only Italian, I didn’t stray to far from this tendency, because the girl on the team who I have the closest friendship with is Suray Fernandez, who is from Spain. I think Spain is very similar to Italy in many aspects.
6. You’re doing a yoga course and eating healthy. Are you a hippy?
I want to become a yoga instructor, but behind all of this there is a much deeper discussion that involves eating the right things and doing important exercises. There is a big difference between being a hippy and doing yoga. Strangely enough, though, when I was 16 I had the spirit of a hippy, and just recently I bought a Volkswagen California, which is a little hippy. Thanks to the yoga school I did, each day there are new windows opening up for my mind, and the desire to learn new things. Yoga is not only a discipline or a hobby I do, it has become for me a profound new way to look at life, dedicating every day to one’s self-improvement.
7. Can you do the feathered peacock position? And what the hell is that, anyway?
I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about.
8. What do you do to reduce your impact on the environment?
I recycle all that is recyclable and I don’t eat meat, even though it doesn’t seem like I’m making much of a difference to the climate change. I could write a book about all these things, but whoever is interested in learning more about these issues can go on the OMS international website of sanitation and check out some of their figures and graphs: 18% of the methane emissions in our atmosphere come from farms that raise animals; there are more than 1.3 billion cows in the world; 26% of the methane emissions in England are caused by cow farms; the ammonia that these farms produce is one of the main reasons of why there are acid rains; this causes the increase by 70% of the acidity level of certain areas. There are many toxins that animals eat, things like steroids or antibiotics, which have now contaminated everything else because of the fertilizers that are used. In Costa Rica, 71% of the forests have been cut down to make room for these farms of livestock.
Pitagora once said: “Until man stops massacring other animals, he will continue to kill each other off. He who plants the seed of harm or death cannot have love or happiness.” I’m not saying that everybody should not eat meat, but it’s my way of helping the earth.
9. Why do you think there are not more big name riders from Italy?
The majority of Italians don’t really like to do contests, and I think this is one of the reasons. Another big reason might be the companies, because there is talent with some of the riders but it’s not praised. They show little support for the riders. Hopefully this will change soon.
10. What were your highs and lows from last winter?
Lots and lots of highs and lows, within snowboarding and my life as well.
11. Who’s driving the progression of women’s riding right now, do you think?
I think the big videos are doing the best job to show the progression of women’s riding internationally. This gives girls the initiative to ride better and to start to close the gap between male and female riding. Hopefully this gap will get smaller.
12. What’s the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to you?
I’m not sure that luck exists, especially if you believe in coincidence. But if I would have to say to be lucky about something, it’s to have been born in the beautiful place I’m from, Val di Fassa.
13. What do you want to achieve this winter?
This year I want to do fewer contests and focus more on filming with Snowbox and doing more photos. I want a more relaxed season with lots of snow, to bring home good material and have lots of fun! I don’t want to abandon the things I’m studying and some of my passions that I haven’t been able to do in the past years, my drawing and artwork.